Thankful Much? Thankful for what exactly?

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You know, there’s this little verse in the Bible that goes something like this, “In everything give thanks.” That’s sound just so nice, doesn’t it? It’s nice to be thankful for my food, and my house, and my health, and my family, and my…. you get the point. But that whole “everything” part…that can get kind of tricky when you really stop to think about it. Thankful for everything? You mean the “everything” that includes toddlers that throw tantrums in the middle of grocery stores…and the dirty foot prints all over the freshly mopped floor…and that extra bill I wasn’t expecting in the mail…and that snooty person who just made me feel really bad….you mean that “everything”??? I’m afraid I don’t much care for that idea myself. Ask me how I feel after I’ve had a day of the sky opening up and raining mud and frogs on my entire … Continue reading

Home Maintenance vs House Maintenance

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I spend a good deal of my time working on this old house of mine. The reason it needs so much attention is pretty simple…lack of upkeep. I’ve walked through probably a hundred or more houses combining all the times we’ve house shopped…and I have never once walked into a well kept house and thought, “Hmmm, this house could do with a little more neglect. It smells a little too fresh and it’s a tad too tidy.” I’ve walked through plenty that I couldn’t get out of fast enough! Plain and simple, you just don’t get rotted out walls, cockroaches littering the floor, and busted pipes, because you’ve taken good care of things. Most of us see our houses and our cars as things of value…we take care of them, because they cost a lot of money to replace. They are our status symbols, they represent us, and much thought … Continue reading

6 Reasons to pick up a book and read it

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In a world of a thousand and one distractions, from cell phones to tablets, why should I hit the “off” button every now and then and read a book? Why should I bother making my kids sit down for 30 minutes and look a book? Why invest the time when there is so many other things to do? What good is a book anyway? Before we banish books off to the land of the archaic, let’s consider what good might be done if we actually read one. Reading a book teaches me to apply myself mentally to one task for a specific period of time. It requires self discipline to focus on one thing for a set time. There is no commercial break every 30 seconds in a book to relieve my attention. I must concentrate and focus, one chapter at a time. “But I just don’t have time to … Continue reading

Do you understand it?

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Understanding that God chooses to love me, on purpose, without any requirements, without any limits, is truly life changing.  I can always have joy, because God loves me. My future is secure, because God loves me. I will always have a purpose for today, because God loves me. Do you know how much God loves you? The love of God is greater far Than tongue or pen can ever tell; It goes beyond the highest star, And reaches to the lowest hell; The guilty pair, bowed down with care, God gave His Son to win; His erring child He reconciled, And pardoned from his sin. O love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong! It shall forevermore endure The saints’ and angels’ song. When years of time shall pass away, And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall, When men, who here refuse to pray, On rocks and hills … Continue reading

Giving my kids the good life, or is it so good?

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We all want our kids to have a better life than we had growing up. Even if you had a great child hood, I think it’s an idea that just comes naturally to everyone. I wonder though, if that goal is really doing more to harm our kids than help them. Take birthday’s for an example. When I was a child, we didn’t have Pinterest perfect birthday parties with cupcakes flawlessly matching the hand constructed pendent banner complete with a table creaking under the weight of gifts…a scene which seems to be the norm for children now. Did I suffer from it? Did I feel deprived as a child? Not exactly, I adored my birthday! I had a homemade cake, and usually one gift from each member of my immediate family. If I was especially lucky, Grandma and Grandpa would send me a few dollars. Birthday’s were looked forward to … Continue reading

10 Practical Ways to Show Love to a Perfect Stranger

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Why should I want to bother with showing love to a stranger anyway? Two very simple reasons come to mind immediately. First, my little girls are watching me, they will learn how to treat other people by how I treat other people. Second, my main purpose in life is to honor God and point people to Him….the best way to do that is to show His love to them. So, I guess I should hand out sloppy hugs to everyone I see then? Uh no, not exactly. That wouldn’t be awkward at all. Very practically speaking, here are ten ways I can very easily show love to another human being whom I have never met and probably will never see again….but who may be forever touched by a stranger’s momentary gesture. Use people’s names. People love to hear their own name, it’s the highest form of flattery. It shows you care … Continue reading

The Little Red Hen – the modern way

In light of the recent events in our national news, I’ve been contemplating more than ever what effects selfish behavior and the lack of moral responsibility can have on a nation. Most of us will never have a very large voice in affecting society, however, most of us can directly speak for the choices our own families make. There are two major concepts I want my girls to learn. If they never learn anything else from me, I hope they learn this…You are directly accountable to God for the choices you make, and you are personally responsible for your own choices. I do not ever wish to debase them into being my parrot, or enable them to flounder through life by allowing them to cling to excuses. I came across this little children’s story, re-written to highlight the importance of individual responsibility. I hope you will enjoy it, and be … Continue reading

Do what you do know how to do

Excuses are handy little things aren’t they? They give us the way out. All the justification we need for dashed dreams and un-realized goals can be summed up in simple sentences like…”Well someday, but I just don’t have time.”…”I’d love to, but I don’t have the money.”…”I wish I could, but I’m not educated enough.”…”I want to, but I’m not talented enough.”…I could go on for a good while more with examples, I’m really quite skilled at the art of excuse making! You know what I realized about excuses? More often than I’d care to admit, my excuses are just sheer laziness wrapped up in a package of victimized self pity. I’m afraid there isn’t much very pretty about that! I don’t believe for a second that an all powerful God created me to be rendered helpless and useless by the slightest obstruction in my path. I also don’t think … Continue reading

Rest if you must, but don’t quit!

This poem I’m sharing today reminds me of my dad. He memorized it, and used to quote it to us kids often…with much eye rolling, huffing, and puffing on our part I might add! Quitting just wasn’t an option in our house, you had to try, and then try again. While it’s one thing to learn not to quit when it comes to chores and what not, it’s quite another when it comes larger matters. We all have something that taunts us into quitting.  “The thing” that says, just quit, I’m not worth this much trouble, stop trying so hard. It hands you “reasons”…you’ve got no money so you can’t do it, you aren’t talented enough so why try, that person will never change so why bother, nobody else thinks you can so why should you, you aren’t pretty enough so give up, you aren’t worth anything so stop trying, … Continue reading

Are random acts of kindness a dying phenomenon?

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Every now and then, something happens in life that will stick in your memory for a good long while. One of those type things happened to me once, about this same time of the year, which I suppose is what brought it back to my mind. The Mister had just gotten out of the Marine Corps, and we were headed off to our new civilian life and all its unwritten adventures. The house was cleaned to sparkling perfection, the truck and trailer packed to the last sixteenth of an inch, and our goodbyes said. After a full day of packing, and five hours on the road, we were bone weary when we pulled into a quiet hotel parking lot in the still of the night. The Mister got out to see about a room. I waited, half asleep, in the truck with the two little girls who had long since given … Continue reading